Friday, June 16, 2006

Personal Growth Is Good, Unless We're Talking Waist Size

I should have known the trouble would start with Simon. No, no, not that Simon. His namesake, Simon.

And the trouble has nothing to do with who the kitty is named for. It boils down to one simple thing: of all of our kittens, Simon is the one that’s most like her mother.

When we first got Buttons and Rascal, we kept them in our living room. This was at the old place, before we moved here. We barricaded the door, with barely an opening at the top. I mean, a six-week-old kitten. How’s a six-week-old kitten barely much bigger than my hand going to jump five feet?

Rascal never could. He wasn’t that agile, even as a little kitten.

Buttons, on the other hand, would not be stopped. I remember telling Kevin there was a kitten outside our bedroom door. He told me I was ridiculous, there was no way one of them had gotten out.

Until he opened the door and saw Buttons there.

We tried not to let them sleep with us at night. For one thing, they were still so small, Kevin was worried that my nightly flips would find me landing on a kitten. He thought it was bad enough he had to suffer.

We tried cat repellent, two sided tape, you name it. Nothing would stop Buttons from clawing at our bedroom door until we relented and let her in.

Right now, I’m watching Rebus attack Buttons’ tail. Stuart’s asleep in a basket. Simon and Russel are nursing, and Buttons looks pretty choked at Rebus’ antics.

They’ve officially taken over my office.

Yes, Simon could no longer be contained. She escaped from the living room, she escaped from the area I had them enclosed in my office (a walk-in closet).

It’s gone from “isn’t she cute” to “isn’t she a pain in the butt” all in one afternoon.

It is fun to watch them explore, but now I have the added worry. There are so many places they can hide in my office. Last night, we couldn’t find Stuart. She was on the bottom of the bookshelf, on top of a stack of books, sleeping.

Then there was Rebus, somewhat appropriately exploring higher terrain.

Watching the kittens grow reminds me of how we can go through growth spurts in our own life. Not just physically. One day, you reach the barrier and you stop because you know you can’t get over it. You want to see the world on the other side, but it’s beyond you.

Until one day, when it isn’t. When you know if you try hard enough, you can get over the blockade.

This is a year that’s been about overcoming obstacles for me, both good and bad. I don’t have any grand words of wisdom or magic mantras that will help you with whatever you’re facing, other than this:

Don’t give up.

I’ve had a lot of dreams in my life, and no matter how bad things got, how hopeless they seemed, they were still there. Now, I’m seeing some of those dreams become a reality.

I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for two things. 1 – people who believed in me. 2 – people who told me not to quit.

I’m fortunate that I had people who set a good example for me – hence the names of the kittens, despite the fact that Stuart, Russel and Simon are all girls. And I’m fortunate to have had people give me a lot of support.

I’m also, fortunately, learning that I don’t have to be superwoman. Personal growth is also about learning to say no. Murderati’s JT Ellison has an inspiring post up today, about how an author’s life can start to get out of control, and the need to manage your time. If you, like me, have trouble saying no, you’ll want to read JT’s post.

And on that note, I’ll ask what the most important thing you’ve learned this year is, if you want to share. And if not, there are places to go, things to see, and a joke below. Kevin has firefighter training this weekend, so I’ll be here. With big news that you can find out about from Jason Pinter’s Thursday blog post. Otherwise, more news on Monday!

Blog Hopping & News

Murderati’s Simon Wood has put up a fantastic post, filled with excellent advice about how to avoid getting duped on the road to publication.

Remember the interview I did with Trench a few weeks ago? You might be interested in the discovery of a website with information about how to blow up a school in Ontario. Scary stuff. Kids these days.

And the joke is courtesy of JT Ellison

A distinguished young woman on a flight from Switzerland asked the priest sitting beside her, "Father, may I ask a favor?"

"Of course. What may I do for you?"

"Well, I bought an expensive electronic hair dryer that is well over the Customs limits and I'm afraid they'll confiscate it. Is there anyway you could carry it through Customs for me? Under your robes perhaps?"

"I would love to help you, dear, but I must warn you: I will not lie."

"With your honest face, Father, no one will question you."

When they got to Customs, she let the priest go ahead of her.
The official asked, "Father, do you have anything to declare?"

"From the top of my head down to my waist, I have nothing to declare."

The official thought this answer strange, so asked, "And what do you have to declare from your waist to the floor?"

"I have a marvelous little instrument designed to be used on a woman, but which is, to date, unused."

Roaring with laughter, the official said, "Go ahead, Father.”


JT Ellison said...

Oh. My. God. Those kittens are to die for.So cute!
What have a learned in the past year? That if I persevere, all things will come together. And that there are a lot of people a helluva a lot smarter than me, and I'm wise to follow their counsel.
Great segue, Sandra.
Viva KillerYear!

angie said...

Hey, is that cat old enough to drive a car?! Glad to hear you're at a place where you can look back & see how all the hard work is paying off. Buckle up, though. The ride's just beginning!

Sandra Ruttan said...

JT, aren't we lucky there are people smarter, with more experience, who'll actually guide us?! That's wonderful.

Angie, these cats are lawless rebels! Thanks for the warning... I think!

angie said...

I meant for the fun stuff...not trying to be ominous. Although, considering the kind of things you write about...nah, just meant for the hurry flurry of book tours, interviews, shit like that.

Sandra Ruttan said...

It's weird to think about doing that stuff, though. I don't know if there'll be a book tour, but even interview requests are odd. I keep thinking about doing all the things I'm doing now, except having a book out.

I have no idea how much/if my day to day life will change, but certainly a tour would be a big change to routine.

angie said...

Well, yeah. It would be a big change, but wouldn't it be cool to get out and meet some new people, or people you already know via email/blog/whatever? And while I may have my own thoughts on Konrath's plan for market domination, I do think that book tours can be really helpful. Long after the author leaves, the staff will remember what writers were cool/funny/interesting/etc., and who was a giant poo-head. And they're the ones selling books and making rec.'s. Plus, you've got the whole Killer Year thing - maybe you can come up with a tour with one or two of the writers from there. I dunno, just my two cents...

Bill, the Wildcat said...

Those cats are too darned cute! One could almost forget how evil cats are, and I would know (I am "The Wildcat" after all).

James Goodman said...

Yes, they are quite adorable. and that will be told again.

Trace said...

I want Rebus! He's so friggin' cute!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Time will tell, Angie. Some of us Killer Year people are talking about doing Left Coast Crime 2007 together, and a number of us will be at BoucherCon this fall, so that's great.

Bill, cats aren't evil. Only wildcats!

James, glad you liked it - too funny.

Trace, sorry! He's mine!

Anonymous City Girl said...

who needs with those kittens around?

S. W. Vaughn said...

Oh my, see what I've missed in just a few days! Just look at the baaaaaby kittens! :-) That joke is just awesome.

What have I learned this year? There are still some people in the world who are not complete assholes, and lots of them have blogs. :-)

Flood said...

This year I learned for sure that I am never as wonderful or as terrible as I think I am. Just because I have a feeling about myself doesn't make it a fact.

Adorable kittens. I think rebus is my favourite. Have you a favourite among them?

Sandra Ruttan said...

Aren't they cute City Girl? But you can never have too many cute kittens!

SW, that seems to be very true. I've "met" lots of fantastic people on blogs.

Flood... No, I don't have a favourite. Rebus is so cute, all black with green eyes (but he's a bit of a whiner, being a boy and all). Simon is so much like Buttons, who has always been adorable, so how could we not love Simon? Russel - my husband is always going gaga over Russel, and she is terribly cute. It's her face, her fur is a bit longer, and she just looks adorable.

Then there's Stuart, who's been the adventurer from day 1, the least afraid of us, the most affectionate, and Stuart and Rebus purr like chainsaws.

So, we love them all, and Kevin's decided that, unless his mom wants one (she recently lost her cat to illness) or we KNOW it's a really good home, we're keeping all of them.

Thankfully, we have a really really big house and multiple litter boxes.

Boy Kim said...

Oh look. Books by That Rankin Fella.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Hey, darlin'! Yeah, like you didn't know I own every Rankin book, except Westwind, I think. Aren't you jealous? Don't you want to run right out there and buy them all?

C'mon. I know you do.

Boy Kim said...

Hey yourself, honey chile.

I did have a sneaky inkling that you were a fan of TRF, yes.

But what's this I hear? There's a book by him (lower case h) you don't have? Call yourself a fan? BLAH!

And actually, for your information Miss BlabberWoman, I am the proud owner of ten of Mr R's books. Remember, they were on special offer from The Book People a while ago? Ten books for £10, remember? (Psst... he can't be much good if he has so many unsold books that he has to sell them off that cheaply.)

But jealous? Nah, not I, sir. Now, if we're talking jealous... I'm jealous of OTO's pillow; I'm jealous of Her coffee cup; and without wishing to appear too inappropriate, I'm jealous of Her bathrobe.

And I thought Westwind was a crappy Irish boy band, or a film (with Yul Brunner, possibly) about a futuristic theme park thingy gone wrong.

"Goodnight", said Zebedee. "Goodnight", said Dougal. "Moo", said Ermintrude.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Hey Kim! That book came out in 1990, and hasn't been reissued. I doubt it ever will be, in fact and spending a few thousand for it on ebay, well, I could buy a new set of all the other books for a lot less!

Westwind might be the name of a band, though.

Should I summon OTO to read your comment?

G'night Kim!

Forty_Two said...

How to blow up a school with Tabasco sauce and bedsheets.

Sounds like a job for Supertrench!

Boy Kim said...

I have no problem if you wish to summon OTO. I only wish I could master that particular skill.

Not, of course, that I would be the one doing the summoning. No, I'd be perfectly happy, nay, honoured, to be summoned.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

The kittens are adorable!

Reubus is my favorite!

The joke was hysterical!

Bernita is found!

And all is right in the world!

That's all I've learned so far this year...LOL!

Gabriele C. said...

Aww, cute little rascals.

And I bet they know it. :)

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